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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 23


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Shakespeare's Sonnets - Sonnet 23
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Sonnet 23



The poet blames his inability to speak his love on his lack of self-confidence and his too-powerful emotions, and he begs his beloved to find that love expressed in his writings.

As an unperfect actor on the stage
Who with his fear is put beside his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
4Whose strength’s abundance weakens his own heart;
So I for fear of trust forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love’s rite,
And in mine own love’s strength seem to decay,
8O’ercharged with burden of mine own love’s might.
O, let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love and look for recompense
12More than that tongue that more hath more expressed.
 O, learn to read what silent love hath writ.
 To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.